I’ll give that a try. Right now I’m a noble with high intelligence and mild charisma. He wants to free his home land and the helots. But he wants to keep the nobility intact maybe raise a few close allies to new nobility, I’m thinking I want to teach a few of the wisadry though.
To each their own.
@Havenstone - is Human blood the only way to make aetherial blood?
Also in Uprising, we have the choice to ask the Priest if he and his noble companion were… Ahem… Companions (wink). I wonder why that was.
Pretty much humans and abhumans only.
Well… Good bye then Abhumans.
I don’t know about that. There must be a reason the Hegemony hasn’t tried to enslave them all already.
Fortunately we are moving as a character with knowledge that they are an Mc of a game called Choice of Rebels.
But seriously though, perhaps they were incapable of doing it? Or the blood came out wrong?
Nomads are notoriously hard to conquer, yes, especially when you already have another massive front with a rival empire. Though I wonder if keeping trade open with the Abhumans is important enough in itself to not bother with trying.
Or… @Havenstone, do the Abhumans ever sell prisoners to Hegemony?
Also, @Havenstone “You’ve never met nor heard of anyone who’s willingly crossed that Ward.” But Huette and her kids could have willingly crossed the Xaos-Ward?
Not really “willingly…”
First off, on spoiler policy: the only thing really spoiler protected on this forum thread so far has been the loredump I gave on the details of how Theurgy works. It’s been hard to sustain that–and I don’t fancy policing the thread to keep other future ideas and details spoiler protected.
Once I’ve posted Ch 1, all those Theurgy details will be common knowledge; following that, I don’t intend to share any more huge spoilers on the thread, just the broad framework and a few hints about future games. I don’t think we’ll need spoiler protection for that.
I’d like to be a little more discriminating on the wiki, which may attract more casual fans. If you’re adding material to the wiki, if it doesn’t come from the game, drop it in spoilers. I’ll move it over to the regular game lore section if I think it’s just interesting world detail rather than something likely to spoil someone’s enjoyment of a future game.
Religion is a famously odd category, with blurry and contested boundaries. It’s true that in the XoRverse, it would be basically impossible to deny the reality of teloi or the power than comes from reflecting on them; to that extent every Theurge is “religious.” But that doesn’t mean they need to think there’s a God, even an Unmoved Mover one like Xthonos, let alone that the Canon (or any other religion on offer) is the best articulation of reality.
Materialism has its teleologies too. Skeptics can believe that the fact that things have purpose (to fall, to rise, to cut, etc.) is a brute fact of the universe, not the result of any Supreme Being’s intention.
The stories about Angels in the Codex certainly have them presenting themselves in physical form to their Eclect. It’s an exceptional event even in the stories, though. Much as in our own world, the vast majority of believers get by without any flashy personal epiphanies. And I can confirm that the Rebels saga will never feature an unambiguous intervention by the Angels, the Forgotten Gods, Ummay and Kormuz, or the Theoi – no parting of the Red Sea, no Athena sending fog to protect Odysseus and then appearing to him for a chat. Does that mean the gameworld is one without gods? That’ll be up to the reader to judge, similarly to everyone in our world who lives without personally witnessing a “visible real effect.”
A plausible alternative explanation, as I said on those old threads.
There is a tension here, if not a necessary trade-off. Religion (as the most widely proposed etymology implies) binds people together. Even in our own prosperous, relatively stable Western hegemony, it can’t be treated solely in terms of individualistic “spirituality.” In a centuries-old empire collapsing into chaos, you’re going to want some social binding factor if you’re going to establish any sort of new order.
But almost anything that binds people together also divides them from outsiders – even, as real-world history bears witness, philosophies that have love, compassion, tolerance, etc. at their heart. Keeping your compassion-religion or tolerance-religion (let alone justice-religion) from being a barrier to a shared life with those who believe differently is a full-time job.
A skeptic needn’t abandon the socially integrating function of religion; as you’ve noted, there are “religions of non-religion” that bind people together strongly, and Kenonism may become one of those. But the more you want to bind people together, the more you’re likely to alienate those outside.
Rape should be a Harrowable crime, and a lower-class person found to have raped a helot would be Harrowed. The consequences of a rape allegation by a helot against a noble would be punishment of the lying accuser.
Only the prestige that comes with a close family connection to a Theurge.
To protect the Theurgic secret, all children of Theurges are given up for adoption to aristocratic families and raised separately from their parents. Kleitos was the first Thaumatarch to declare that he would personally comply with this policy; though as far as anyone knows, he’s never had any children to give up.
In theory, Theurges select the helots for Harrowing by inspiration of the Angels, who don’t take appeals from aristos. The reality will be explored more in Game 2 Ch 2.
No. That’s something that Theurgy is very good at nipping in the bud, and human capital is too valuable to be wasted in that way.
As @Sneaks correctly assumes, if it were that easy, the Hegemony would have their Long War down south instead of Halassur.
Never. Completely unthinkable for them.
Yes. She was facing certain death at the Hegemony’s hands, and where others might have considered fleeing to the wilderness to join the bandits, that obviously wasn’t an option for her. In that extraordinary bind, she didn’t respond fatalistically or passively, but went for a slim chance of survival. That’s a reasonably rare choice in an established totalitarian state, even one approaching a crisis; it shouldn’t be all that surprising that the MC hasn’t previously met someone like that.
Whatever the reason is it must be a pretty good one for a power as belligerent, blood hungry and nakedly expansionist as the Hegemony to maintain reasonably cordial relations with a neighbor.
Starting to get the feeling that’s going to bite us in the ass…
It’s always struck me as odd that, while Christianity and Buddhism (to name two religions that I’m familiar with) are emphatically religions of tolerance, compassion and nonviolence, Christians and Buddhists are no more or less likely to be hateful, violent bigots than followers of other religions or atheists. Kenon and the Inner Voice are undoubtedly going to be no different; they may be religions of thinking for yourself, but they won’t actually discourage closed-mindedness unless the player actively pushes against it.
Both do include an anthropology that explains why most people aren’t compassionate – which can be extrapolated into a theory of why “Christianity” and “Buddhism” as social phenomena constantly risk being turned to violent and non-compassionate ends.
Yes, that’s what I’m counting on.
My Mc likes war more than anything. What better than a war they are not likely to win.
Could theurgy change that? I suppose the Thaumatarchy hasn’t managed to find that out yet. Then we could just kill thousands at a time and brainwash the rest to love that and mate. That way no rebellion and all the blood you’ll ever need.
That will also kill humnity and become Empire stale and impossible to change and advance if absolutely EVERYTHING is indoctrinated there are no art no invention no anything that makes human humans. It reminds me the Mass Effect 2 portrayal of harvesters collectors being in fact proteans. As Mordin said There is no culture or soul in them all are substituted by tech to point there is nothing left. Indoctrination does that
But it says when you talk to Horion, “You’ve never met or heard of anyone who’s willingly crossed that Ward.” But if Huette crossed it, then we have.
I’m guessing he’s sterile?
Also, how do they pick Ennearchs?
And if you’re going for Inner Voice, there may not be much they can do.
Thanks for the excellent and comprehensive reply.
Glad the spoiler policy is, and will be, relaxed. Will hopefully also be conducive to deeper discussions.
This makes a lot of sense in the long-term, too; once we’re four books deep it’ll be tricky for a newcomer to avoid major spoilers whilst searching for entry-level info.
On teleology: coincidentally, earlier this week the concept of ‘everything has an intrinsic purpose’ was proposed to me (teleology but phrased differently). After brief consideration I casually dismissed it as nonsense, as, to my understanding, ‘purpose’ is a purely relative concept and doesn’t really exist from an objective universal perspective. I proposed that a knife’s purpose is not to cut; it is simply an object which is capable of cutting, and I think that’s a very significant difference.
Just thought this was interesting as I wasn’t aware it was a formalised philosophical concept until now, and I’d unintentionally been stepping on some rather large toes. It’s very interesting to discuss and learn about more complex aspects of society and its quirks via the vehicle of a fictional narrative. Fiction reflects reality!
Thank you very much indeed for confirming this outright.
This seems like a very mature take on the XoRverse, and I’m looking forward to seeing the dynamics develop differently depending on the MC’s views. Since ‘magick’ is certainly a real force to some degree I’m curious to what extent Theurgy will be explained with scientific or spiritual methods.
I’ve had versions of this concept presented to me many times; the concept that religion is beneficial for society as it brings people together, makes them feel better, soothes their fears and strengthens their resolves. That is to say, it makes life easier for all involved.
Without getting deep into it I’d generally posit that, from a long-term civisilation-wide perspective, people don’t require “the gods” in order to get along with each other. There are plenty of rational reasons for humans to work in concert with each other to build better futures for all; “because we want to go to heaven” seems very old-fashioned thinking indeed. I personally want to leave a better world behind for everyone still living in it, and I’d like to develop my MC’s Kenon along these lines.
Further to this, it’s generally established and accepted that “hard truths > easy lies” and I think, although it will be a tough and load road, the same rule applies to humanity as a whole, too.
I’d ultimately hope to see Kenon presented as more of a “philosophy” than a “religion,” though it sounds as though we’ll have a variety of choice to shape the various religions as we see fit - really looking forward to seeing how all this plays out.
Will there be a cosmopolitan-style “let everyone do their own religion instead of trying to convert everyone to the same one”-type option in the long-term? I.e. the MC says “I don’t care about the Angels but you guys seem to, so do what makes you happy, just show up to work on time and be cool with each other.”
You seem to be working on the premise that humans spend more than five seconds thinking about other people. And the Angels are very useful to get helots willingly submitting to Harrowing. If they think that they are laying down their lives to save the world from Xaos, they probably won’t rebel, whereas if we told them that they were dying to bring another Plektos or Theurge-forged weapon into the world they’d have a much higher chance of rebelling.